Beat the Back to Work Blues

Beat the Back to Work Blues“Post Holiday Blues” are really common. A miserable, panicky feeling when you are headed back to work, followed by irritation when you get there, a flat low mood and severe loss of productivity. This can spiral into overeating to combat boredom, difficulty concentrating and multiple man (and woman!) hours sucked into distractors like social media.

This feeling is really normal at the end of a holiday –  so don’t panic people! It’s just an exaggerated case of “Sunday Evening-Itus”. Here is how to overcome it and move into 2015 with a bang:

1.     EASE IN

  • If you can, ease in with a 4 day week and soften the blow.
  • Take the opportunity whilst the office is quieter to completely de-clutter your desk and working environment to start the year with a fresh slate – it’s a remarkably energizing productivity enhancer.
  • Make sure your self care is excellent. Eat well. Sleep well. Move lots. Get out in the sunshine – even if its just for 15 minutes a day.


  • Ease in with a short To Do list of what you can realistically accomplish in the first week. We often overestimate what we can achieve and underestimate the timescale – this leads to instant overwhelm and job suckyness. Avoid with a serious reality check and a short, ruthlessly prioritised list.
  • Keep your Out Of Office email on for a extra day, and set email to work offline  so it doesn’t leave your inbox alerting people to your presence and generating more work – use this “under the radar” time to catch up whilst no one thinks you are there and expects stuff  from you – use it to clear the email, desk, decks and for a bit of strategic planning.


  • Don’t make a permanent decision on a temporary emotion! Don’t quit straight away! Post Holiday Blues are pretty common so don’t quit the job at 10am on your first day back. Give yourself a week to settle in.
  • Take time to evaluate what is REALLY getting you down– do you really new job, or do need a new challenge in the same job?  Or would a new training course or secondment do the trick? Or do you need to bite the bullet and search for a job you don’t want to escape!
  • Look at what was great about the holiday break – connecting with loved ones, eating healthier, more sleep, more time to exercise, more time on the water – and look at how you can incorporate more of what you really valued into your working week in a conscious way. Commit to a monthly family get-together, or join a swimming or sailing club one night a week, or commit to going to bed earlier or whatever it was that really resonated about the holiday time for you.
  • Set goals – 3 personal and 3 professional – overall goals for the year. Download my FREE e-book that will guide you through this process so you are all set for a super exciting 2015.
  • Commit to not working late – pack in more personal time and  healthy Work-Life boundaries in 2015 – diarise your after work or weekend activities so they are a happening thing.
  • Book your next break – so you can throw yourself in and you have it to focus on and look forward to! Boom!


Post Holiday Blues will subside after a week or so as you get back into routine and the swing of things. And – don’t forget – there are quite a few public holidays and long weekends to look forward to at the start of the year!

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,

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